Mumbai lift mishap: BDL lift has not had a licence for last 14 years

Updated: May 21, 2019, 08:06 IST | Anurag Kamble

Flummoxed cops hit a roadblock in a probe into the death of top Mumbai dentist, write to BMC asking for the procedure to operate outdated equipment

Mumbai lift mishap: BDL lift has not had a licence for last 14 years
The Bhau Daji Lad museum in the eye of the storm

A fortnight after the death of a city dentist in the Bhau Daji Lad museum lift collapse, police have found that the lift had no licence to operate for the past 15 years. During questioning, the museum staff told the police that the vendor, Expert Equipment, had not told them that a licence was required to operate the lift.

The vendor, however, claimed that the lift was an 'unconventional' hydraulic one which does not require a licence from the authorities concerned. The Byculla police are now awaiting a report from the Electrical Inspector (lift) to get the exact status of the lift.

Also Read: Byculla museum death: BMC orders probe, cops to wait for it before action

Tasneem Mehta, honorary director and trustee, BDL Museum
Tasneem Mehta, honorary director and trustee, BDL Museum

Renowned dentist Dr. Arnavaz Havewala and her daughter Hera were inside the lift at the museum in Byculla when it collapsed on April 28. Dr. Havewala received multiple injuries in the accident and passed away on May 9 from complications arising from the injuries. An offence was then registered at Byculla police station under IPC section 304A (negligence) against unknown people.

If was during the course of the investigation that the cops found out that the lift, which has been operational since 2005, doesn't have any licence to operate. Every lift that is operational in Mumbai city or anywhere in the state needs approval from the Electrical Inspector (Lift) but, the department had no record of the museum lift.

VT Rathod, electrical inspector (lift), Mumbai, said, "When the Mumbai Police asked us about whether the museum lift had a licence to operate, we had no idea until then that such a lift even existed. We have not issued any licence to this lift to operate. We are preparing a report about the lift and will submit it to the police," he said.

The Byculla police refused to comment. But, senior officers told mid-day, "'Expert Equipment, the vendor of the lift, has claimed that the lift is an unconventional one which doesn't require any licence. We are waiting for the report from the Lift Inspection Department to find out whether this lift required a licence. According to the Lift Act, some lifts don't need any licence from the department, but there are very few lifts in the city like the one at the museum." During investigation, Expert Equipments claimed that it had told the museum authorities to hire a liftman to operate the lift as it was an unconventional one.

Also Read: Byculla police register FIR after doctor's death at museum

BDL museum says

"At the time of installation of the lift, we did not require a licence to operate it. The law changed around 2008, but the lift vendor did not inform us that we then required to register the lift even though we had an Annual Maintenance Contract with him," said Tasneem Mehta, honorary director and trustee, BDL Museum

Also Read: Mumbai: Bhau Daji Lad Musuem, lift vendor blame each other after freak mishap kills dentist

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